Going natural was one of the biggest decisions I’ve ever made in my life. At the time, I thought that embracing my natural hair would be a very easy change that would require very little effort on my part. I was wrong, but not just about this. Here are a few things I discovered along my journey.

1. Expect the unexpected with your natural hair texture

I had my first relaxer when I was pretty young and apart from pictures I couldn’t remember what exactly my hair texture was like. Another thing too was the fact that I had no experience with my natural hair since my mom used to take care of it up until the time I relaxed it. So when I did my big chop I was in for a surprise. My texture was much kinkier than I remembered it to be. So it’s a good idea to prepare for anything. That way you won’t set yourself up for disappointment if your hair isn’t as curly or as soft as you expected.

Prepare for anything. That way you won’t set yourself up for disappointment with your natural hair texture.

2. Go easy on the products!

Buying products can be thrill! But there’s nothing worse than thinking you’d be saving money by going natural, but end up spending hundreds on products. I know first hand that this can cause relationship problems with your significant other or your parents ( if you still live with them). To start off, I’d recommend:

  • a shampoo
  • a deep conditioner
  • a leave in
  • a styler

3. Love each stage

Each stage of your hair journey will come and go more quickly than you’d imagine. The first stage is called a TWA, or Teenie Weenie Afro. This stage was my favorite just because of how easy wash day is. I could slap anything in my hair and rake a comb through it, no detangling, no twisting it up every night, just a dream! But in no time I’d made it to the awkward length phase ( my least favorite). Each length has its pros and cons, so I recommend enjoying them as they come.

Each length has its pros and cons, so enjoy them as they come!

4. Do you boo!

With change comes stares, questions and disapproving glances from friends and family. My mom was so upset, she didn’t want to let me in the house! ( I can laugh about it now…) Focus on why you went back natural in the first place. This will be a good way to stay grounded. Ignoring negative remarks is crucial. Many persons who did a big chop and then experienced criticism, have on occasion found themselves giving hair care tips to said individuals when their hair started to flourish. Love your hair no matter what anyone says!

love your natural hair

5. Set a routine

A wash day routine is important. Try narrowing down this routine to limit the amount of time spent on wash day and the number or products used. If you use a product, like it and it works wonders for your hair, why switch? Switching it up for no reason can sometimes cause your hair to misbehave.

6. Stick to a schedule

A schedule is a great way to keep you on top of your hair. Following a recipe will ensure that you don’t forget any steps in your wash day routine, i.e hot oil, pre poo, deep condition, trims etc. I used to keep a schedule in my phone and every two weeks I’d get a hot oil treatment reminder and a protein treatment reminder every 3 weeks. If I feel like my hair didn’t need a protein treatment at that time then I’d just skip it. But it’s really a good idea to have a schedule so you don’t forget important steps that are integral for optimum hair and scalp health.

Stick to a schedule so you don’t forget important steps that are integral for optimum hair and scalp health.

7. Expect discouragement and setbacks

Disappointment and setbacks can be frustrating. I’ve found that it helps to take a break every now and then. Whenever I feel overwhelmed or my hair just isn’t acting right, then I put on a protective style so I can get a break from my hair. When I’ve taken down the protective style I then clarify with apple cider vinegar or a sulfate shampoo (yes, sulfate shampoo because I need something strong enough to remove all the buildup on my hair and scalp). I’ll the follow up with a moisturizing or strengthening deep conditioner. Don’t give up!

8. Appreciate your texture

A big issue within the natural hair community is texture discrimination. Unfortunately there isn’t great representation for kinkier hair types (type 3c-4c). This has resulted in most new naturals (and older ones) wanting the curly, shiny curls they are bombarded with by these clearly biased hair pages! I implore you to seek out the many gorgeous women with 4c hair types ( or whichever type is similar to your pattern) and follow them. This will be much more encouraging. Wishing for another texture is counter productive and will only stress you out.

See below some 4c hair type Queens channels for tips, inspirations and more!

AseaMae

AseaMae

Akushika

NappyFu TV

NappyFu TV

MzNaturalLife

MzNaturalLife

9. Be cautious

Youtube has somehow turned into the “go-to” destination for reputable hair care tips and tricks. While there’s a ton of fantastic videos with factual videos, not all Youtubers share scientifically accurate information. It is up to you to weed out the logical information from the nonsense. If you’re experiencing hair loss, or serious illnesses that are contributing to hairloss, then no amount of oils, or DIY concoctions will help. You need to see a doctor! As always, use your God-Given common sense before acting on information shared via youtube and other social media platforms.

10. Get a support system

Going natural can be daunting with tons of new terminologies and techniques to learn. But this all gets easier with time, I promise! If you live in a country that doesn’t have many natural hair resources, then it’s a great idea to network on social media with regular women with natural hair. Having natural hair friends who support and encourage your journey is all you need to keep you motivated and to help you to stay on this Natural Hair Journey!

Nk Naturalz

Nasstassia loves talking about natural hair, sharing photos of her hair throughout the week, and hair care tips and tricks!